A St. Paul man has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography in a case that is sure to widen eyes since two names also connect it to a well-known missing girl case from 21 years ago.
On Friday, Peter Michael Guevara, previously of Big Lake, Minn., admitted to downloading and storing pictures and videos of young girls. According to court documents, one of the girls was estimated to be only 6 years old.
Guevara's attorney, Anthony Torres, is the same lawyer who represented Guevara's older brother, Robert, in the 1993 murder of Corrine Erstad. The 5-year old went missing from her home in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., on June 1, 1992. She has not been seen since.
Robert Guevara was charged with kidnapping, rape and murder after police found the girl's bloody sundress in his storage locker; however, a jury found he was not guilty.
Investigators looking into the pornography case involving Peter Guevara said there is no criminal connection between the two cases.
Through a search warrant issued in June 2011, Big Lake Police found more than 76,000 pictures and more than 1,000 videos on computer equipment throughout Peter Guevara's former home in Big Lake. According to a criminal complaint, the media focused on girls between the ages of 6 and 12.
Furthermore, the images were intermingled with various personal e-documents from Peter Guevara, including an agenda of a church meeting. The complaint reads: "Peter Guevara held the position of Congregational President of the unnamed church."
Peter Guevara was initially charged with 17 counts of child pornography possession. In a plea made on Friday afternoon, he admitted to five counts of those charges in a Sherburne County courtroom with Torres at his side.
In court, prosecutors read aloud every explicit detail of the first five counts outlined in the complaint to ensure Peter Guevara knew what he was admitting to. Those attending the hearing included Peter Guevara's parents and son.
According to prosecutors, sentencing guidelines call anywhere from 34 to 46 months in prison. The judge will sentence him on May 15. Torres said the 45-year old man would enter a sex offender treatment program in the meantime. Peter Guevara is not in custody.
Shortly after the charges were filed last March, Judge Sheridan Hawley released him on his own personal recognizance under a number of conditions -- one of which the Sherburne County Attorney believed Peter Guevara had violated recently. Peter Guevara is not supposed to have contact with minors under the age of 18, other than his children under the terms of his release; however, he admitted he has not adhered to that mandate.
According to court documents, a female associate of Peter Guevara reported he had contact with her two children, aged 4 and 6. On Halloween, he was allegedly "giving them hugs on the street." On another occasion, Peter Guevara allegedly accompanied the children and their grandmother to dinner, and sent a picture of one of the children eating via cell phone to their mother.
Big Lake Police reported the mother had only recently discovered the no-contact order. On Friday, Peter Guevara told the judge he was in contact with the children when they came to see a home project Guevara was completing for a relative of the children. He told the judge he should have avoided the situation.
After the court session late Friday afternoon, Torres and Peter Guevara did not comment on the plea agreement when asked about it. The men also refused to answer questions about the case at a previous court appearance.
The Fox 9 Investigators contacted the Inver Grove Heights Police department, the agency which investigated the Erstad case about tips that might have come in after news broke of Guevara being charged. The Chief of Police said his agency did receive a few tips. However, investigators didn't find any credible information to those. To read more about the Erstad case click here: http://www.missingkids.com/poster/NCMC/769157